Local businesses recognized on Small Business Saturday

After the rush of Black Friday, the City of San Diego is encouraging shoppers to stay local and support small business. Small Business Saturday is a national campaign started in 2010 by American Express that, in just five years, has grown into a huge economic opportunity for independent retailers.

“For every $100 that is spent on local small San Diego businesses, between $45 and $68 of that $100 stays in San Diego,” said City Councilman Mark Kersey.

According to Kersey, that money gets reinvested into the regional economy, through wages paid to employees or bills paid to local vendors. Councilman Kersey is supporting the North San Diego Business Chamber’s Think Local First campaign, which encourages people to shift ten percent of their spending to local businesses.

Retailers are getting the message, hosting special events and advertising themselves for Small Business Saturday. For example, the Bernardo Winery is encouraging shoppers to visit on Saturday with an event called Taste of the Seasons. From noon to 4:00 p.m. visitors can enjoy samples of food and wine while they walk through the 22 stores on site.

“It really was our opportunity as the winery to help our shops launch their retail holiday season,” said General Manager Selena Roberts. “We have live music in the courtyard and each of our shops decorates beautifully.”

An estimated 1,000 people visited the Bernardo Winery last year on the unofficial shopping holiday, according to Roberts.

While Small Business Saturday is one day of the year, the City offers several year-round campaigns to support local companies whether big or small. The storefront improvement program and business improvement districts, available in many communities, provide opportunities for outreach and improved accessibility.

“Putting together economic development incentive packages, like we’ve done in years past, these are all ways in which we can help support our small businesses in San Diego,” said Councilman Kersey.